Santos Tour Down Under: Sutton stops, Cavendish continues
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Santos Tour Down Under: Sutton stops, Cavendish continues

by Shane Stokes at 7:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under, Injury
 
Riders affected in different ways by stage two crash

Mark CavendishTeam Sky rider CJ Sutton and HTC-Highroad sprinter Mark Cavendish both came down approximately four kilometres from the end of stage two of the Santos Tour Down Under, being part of a cluster of riders who hit the deck just after a tight left hand bend.

Both were the last up out of that group, their slow return to their bikes showing that they had been battered more than the other riders.

Each said they would do what they could to continue in the race and now, after a night’s sleep, one will stop while the other will press on.

Sutton is the rider who has been forced to call a halt to things, waking up very stiff after receiving stitches to his knee. Director Sportif Sean Yates had expected him to be able to keep going, but that is not the case. He rode strongly last year, snagging the final stage win of the race, but will miss out this time round.

It appears to be better news for Cavendish, who limped home and crossed the line cut and battered. He’s sore, but indications from the start are that he will continue. He’s got three aims; to build his own form, to grab a result if the opportunity presents itself, and to try to help team-mate Matt Goss take the overall classification.

Goss won both the pre-race warmup event the Adelaide Cancer Council Classic and also stage one of the Santos Tour Down Under. He held the lead heading into stage two but lost out when he was delayed in Cavendish’s crash. While he returned to the main bunch before the end, he had neither the positioning nor the energy to fight Ben Swift for the stage win.

That might change today, although the tough drag up to the line is going to make it a selective sprint if the main bunch is still all together.

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